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IPM adoption, cooperative membership and farm economic performance: Insight from apple farmers in China

Wanglin Ma (Department of Global Value Chains and Trade, Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand)
Awudu Abdulai (Department of Food Economics and Consumption Studies, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany)

China Agricultural Economic Review

ISSN: 1756-137X

Article publication date: 6 September 2018

Issue publication date: 3 June 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of agricultural cooperative membership on farmers’ decisions to adopt integrated pest management (IPM) technology and to estimate the impact of IPM adoption on farm economic performance.

Design/methodology/approach

An endogenous switching probit model that addresses the sample selection bias issue arising from both observed and unobserved factors is used to estimate the survey data from a sample of 481 apple households in China. A treatment effects model is employed to estimate the impact of IPM adoption on apple yields, net returns and agricultural income. In order to address the potential endogeneity associated with off-farm work variable in estimating both cooperative membership choice specification and IPM adoption specifications, a control function approach is used.

Findings

The empirical results show that cooperative membership exerts a positive and significant impact on the adoption of IPM technology. In particular, farmers’ IPM adoption decision is significantly associated with household and farm-level characteristics (e.g. education, farm size and price knowledge). IPM adoption has a positive and statistically significant impact on apple yields, net returns and agricultural income.

Practical implications

The findings indicate that agricultural cooperatives can be a transmission route in the efforts to proliferate the adoption and diffusion of IPM technology, and increased IPM adoption tends to improve the economic performance of farm households.

Originality/value

Despite the widespread evidence of health and environmental benefits associated with IPM technology, the adoption rate of this technology remains significantly low. This paper provides a first attempt by investigating to what extent and how agricultural cooperative membership affects IPM adoption and how IPM adoption influences farm economic performance.

Keywords

Citation

Ma, W. and Abdulai, A. (2019), "IPM adoption, cooperative membership and farm economic performance: Insight from apple farmers in China", China Agricultural Economic Review, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 218-236. https://doi.org/10.1108/CAER-12-2017-0251

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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